PAC Newsletter

Volume 2 Issue 2

Parent Advisory Board's Mission:

To support students with special needs and their families to successfully navigate the support services offered by Knox County Schools and the surrounding community.

Assistive Technology Update

Summer Tucker, Special Education Supervisor

Assistive Technology Support Services


We are excited to announce some new technology that is available to all of our students!


Snap&Read® is a next-generation reading tool available for Google Chrome and iPad. It reads both accessible and inaccessible text aloud from websites, Flash websites, images, Google Docs, eBook Readers, Kindle Cloud Reader, email, PDFs, web-based tests, and more. Snap&Read® also adjusts complex text to be more readable, translates text into over 100 languages, and allows you to capture information and cite your sources for use in writings.


The Co:Writer® Universal writing tool is available on Google Chrome and iPad and helps students write with proper grammar and spelling using topic-specific vocabulary. It integrates with the Chrome™ browser for word prediction and speech recognition just about anywhere you write online including Google Drive™, blogs, social networks and email.


For more information on both of these new tools, go to www.donjohnston.com where you can find information and video demonstrations.


If you would be interested in a parent training on these tools, please click on the following link and complete this quick survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YP6FGCQ


Trainers from Don Johnston will be onsite on January 8, 9, and 10th to provide training to our assistive technology representatives from each school. We are excited to make this new technology available to our students to support their reading and writing skills in the classroom!

What You Should Know About Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Click on the video below:

ACES Primer
Big picture
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Contact: Michael Scripa at michael.scripa@knoxschools.org

Openings in the Parent Advisory Council

There are openings on the Parent Advisory Board. Members agree to attend monthly meetings, advocate for parental concerns, and volunteer to assist in specific initiatives. In an attempt to have all districts within Knox County to be represented, there is a need for Parents or Caregivers that have students in the following areas:


District 4:


Bearden Elementary

Knoxville Adaptive Education Center

Northshore Elementary

Pond Gap Elementary

Rocky Hill Elementary

Sequoyah Elementary

West High

West Hills Elementary


District 6:


Amherst Elementary School

Ball Camp Elementary School

Byington-Solway Technology Center

Hardin Valley Elementary School

Hardin Valley Academy

Karns Elementary School

Karns High School

Karns Middle School

Northwest Middle School

Norwood Elementary School

Pleasant Ridge Elementary School


District 7:


Adrian Burnett Elementary

Brickey-McCloud Elementary

Copper Ridge Elementary

Halls Elementary

Halls High

Halls Middle

North Knox Vocational Center

Powell Elementary

Powell High

Powell Middle


If interested, please contact :

Sue Ownby 865-594-8889 or sue.ownby@knoxschools.org

EVENTS AND TRAININGS

Getting Ready for an IEP Meeting (Knox County Schools)

Tuesday, Feb. 20th, 11:30am-12:30pm

501 South 21st Street

Knoxville, TN

Whether it is your first IEP meeting or if there are a few under your belt, most parents wish they knew how to be better prepared for their student's IEP meeting. In this session, the IEP will be discussed highlighting areas of parent input and each participant will walk away with a student specific binder to help walk through future IEP meetings. The presentation is geared toward Pre K - 5th grade students, however all families interested in the IEP process are welcomed to attend.

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

CLICK HERE to Register

Contact Person: Sue Ownby Parent Liaison 865-594-8889 or sue.ownby@knoxschools.org

Getting Ready for an IEP Meeting (Knox County Schools)

Wednesday, Feb. 7th, 12-1pm

705 North Cedar Bluff Road

Knoxville, TN

Whether it is your first IEP meeting or if there are a few under your belt, most parents wish they knew how to be better prepared for their student's IEP meeting. In this session, the IEP will be discussed highlighting areas of parent input and each participant will walk away with a student specific binder to help walk through future IEP meetings. The presentation is geared toward Pre K - 5th grade students, however all families interested in the IEP process are welcomed to attend.

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

A Night to Shine

Friday, Feb. 9th, 6pm

405 Black Oak Drive

Knoxville, TN

We are hosting "A Night to Shine" on Feb. 9th, an initiative of the Tim Tebow Foundation. It is a prom-style event for our friends with special needs ages 14 and up.


More info can be found about A Night to Shine on our website - www.bohbc.org. (Under Events at the top of the webpage) Everything is FREE and a buddy will be provided for each participant to insure that each of our friends gets the special attention he/she needs.

Employment Services (Free Event)

Thursday, Feb. 22nd, 5-7pm

5321 Jacksboro Pike

Knoxville, TN

Join us for an informational fair to learn more about employment services programs available to your student after graduation. Representatives will be ready to answer questions about their agencies. Drop in at any time!

Financial Planning (Free Event)

Thursday, March 8th, 4:45-6:30pm

801 Tipton Avenue

Knoxville, TN

We will explore the aspects of the 529 Able Savings plan--an exciting opportunity to help individuals with disabilities put aside money for qualified expenses. We will also briefly look into how this complements a Special Needs Trust and specific provisions that should be followed. Brief comments on basic estate planning techniques will also follow. Please arrive between 4:45-5pm, as the session will begin at 5pm and last until 6:30pm.
CLICK HERE to Register

Contact: Michael Scripa at michael.scripa@knoxschools.org

Planning for a Loved One with Special Needs (Free Event)

Thursday, March 22nd, 4:45-6:30pm

801 Tipton Avenue

Knoxville, TN

Planning for the future of your child after high school can seem like a daunting task. It doesn't have to be, but you DO need a plan. We will help you get started with a few simple (free) steps. Our session will cover Special Needs Trusts, Wills, ABLE Accounts, and Conservatorships. Please arrive between 4:45-5pm, as the session will begin at 5pm and last until 6:30pm.
CLICK HERE to Register

Contact: Michael Scripa at michael.scripa@knoxschools.org

Making Work Work! (Free Event)

Thursday, March 29th, 4:45-6:30pm

801 Tipton Avenue

Knoxville, TN

Ever wonder how going to work will affect your disability benefits? The goal of Benefits to Work is to promote self-sufficiency for individuals with disabilities by helping to lessen some of the obstacles faced when going to work including concern about losing healthcare coverage and other benefits. Please arrive between 4:45-5pm, as the session will begin at 5pm and last until 6:30pm.
CLICK HERE to Register

Contact: Michael Scripa at michael.scripa@knoxschools.org

Free Family Workshops on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Saturday, April 28th, 9am-1pm

600 Henley Street

Knoxville, TN

This free event will help you become a better advocate for a child with an intellectual or developmental disability (IDD). Experts in the field of IDD will speak about a variety of topics, including autism, intellectual disability, attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), cerebral palsy, and learning disabilities. Each topic will be followed by a question-and-answer session. You will also learn about local resources and organizations dedicated to helping those with IDD.

For more information and sign up CLICK HERE

For more information, contact: tara.j.minor@vanderbilt.edu